The Air Ambulance Service (TAAS) charity is warning people to beware of fraudulent collectors asking for donations via scam leaflets sent nationwide.
The TAAS has received reports of fraudsters sending out collection leaflets that encourage people to donate to a scam company called “Air Ambulance Service”. Despite adopting a very similar name, the charity says it is in no way affiliated to them.
These scam leaflets ask people to donate unwanted items such as clothing, and provide a phone number and website address but do not include a registered charity number.
The charity is concerned that vital income could be lost as a result of companies that carry out fraudulent activities and try to trade on TAAS’s good name and reputation.
Company responsible shut down
The company originally responsible for distributing these leaflets was caught out and closed down by the High Court over two years ago and the company's directors prosecuted.
At the time, it was believed that over £1 million was extorted from the public by rogue collectors claiming to be from air ambulance charities.
Leaflets still in circulation at Christmas
The charity has said that the leaflets appear to be in circulation once again, with reports of deliveries to addresses throughout England.
Chief Executive Andy Williamson said "Christmas donations of money and clothing are crucial to our service and yet we now have to worry that criminals are distributing bogus bags that try to fool people into thinking they are giving to us when they are not."
"As a Charity, we are extremely concerned that this will affect our legitimate collections. We would encourage everyone to please check the bags and make sure they support a true air ambulance Charity. Criminal activities like this put people off from donating which, particularly at Christmas time, can be devastating for a small charity like ours."
For further information please visit The Air Ambulance Service website.
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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.